Book Reviews

EDITORS' PICK: Something's Fishy

  • By: Seth Norman
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You will find success stories in this collection of the author's columns, mostly published in this magazine or in Audubon. Tales of recovery that give you hope: return of the East Coast stripers, "America's fish"...

Books

  • By: Seth Norman
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Wide and Deep
Tales and Recollections from a Maine Master Fishing Guide
By Randy Spencer
2014; Skyhorse Publishing
272 pgs; hardcover; $29.95

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Books

  • By: Seth Norman
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AS I RECALL HISTORY, “Me and Joe” tales started circulating out of the Big Three sporting journals (Sports Afield, Outdoor Life and Field & Stream) in the late 1960s. I was sorry to see them go, but during the early ’70s I learned they were stars of a sub-genre dedicated to faux-simpletons who used lousy grammar to express “sappy” sentiments in silly stories.

Books

  • By: Seth Norman
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All Fishermen Are Liars
By John Gierach
2014; Simon and Schuster; www.simonandschuster.com
284 pages; hardcover; $24

Books

  • By: Seth Norman
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Troutsmith

An Angler’s Tales and Travels

By Kevin Searock

2011; Terrace Books (University of Wisconsin); www.uwpress.wisc.edu

182 pages; hardcover; $24.95

Books

  • By: Seth Norman
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“Fly-fishing literature” seems too small a fish to fillet into parts; worse yet, the cuts are often ragged. The cheap way to do this would be to call one genre “lyrical,” suggesting pirouettes, poetry and fiction, and the other “didactic,” usually too stiff and weighty a word. Even if these terms applied at all, the problem with reviewing collections of short works is that many contain pieces of both kinds. So let’s do this:

Books

  • By: Seth Norman
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PROFOUND RIVER RESEMBLES NO other contemporary American novel that includes fly-fishing in a significant way. It’s all at once a remarkably researched historical fiction based on one of our sport’s earliest, most revered and controversial figures; a deceptively delicate story of grace and humor and grit; a meditation filled with religious ritual but suffused with more humanism than dogma . . . and a how-to still relevant to anglers today.

Fly-Casting Techniques-

  • By: Joan Salvatto Wulff
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I didn’t know it at the time, but Joan Wulff first had an impact on my life when, as a teenager, I tightly gripped the cork of my father’s fly rod and made my first cast. Fly-fishing was to become an obsession, and at that moment I, like many female anglers, was indebted to Wulff for making fly-fishing both accessible to and acceptable for women.

Who Fly-Fishes? C.J. Box

  • By: Stephen Camelio
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They say you should write what you know, and this advice has paid off handsomely for author C.J. Box. His best-selling novels, most of which feature crime-solving game warden Joe Pickett (who, like Box, is a Wyoming native, outdoorsman and dedicated family man), have sold millions of copies and won Box countless awards, including an Edgar Award in 2009, from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Novel. Box and Pickett (who is once again the main character of Box’s newest work, Force of Nature, released this past March), share one other very important characteristic—both are avid fly fishermen. And while Pickett’s angling stories are fictitious, Box, in one of the few spare moments when he wasn’t either fishing or writing, agreed to share the truth behind his own fish tales.